About us

The Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion was formed in 2018 by (in alphabetical order) Kate Fletcher, Lynda Grose, Timo Rissanen and Mathilda Tham. The formation of the Union was inspired by the Union of Concerned Scientists, formed in 1969 in the USA. Our manifesto embodies our intention for founding this Union. We are researchers focusing on fashion and sustainability, and our primary aim is to engage with other researchers as well as business.

The current UCRF board has 12 members (listed alphabetically):

Otto von Busch (PhD) is associate professor of Integrated Design at Parsons School of Design. In his artistic practice and research he explores participatory forms of fashion reform, where fashion acts as a collective experience of empowerment, liberation and shared aliveness. Over the last decades, he has examined alternative perspectives on fashion, from hacktivism, Buddhism, and imaginal mysticism. Some of his latest works examine fashion as an energy and embodied emotion, utilising the lenses of biology and neuroscience

Kate Fletcher (PhD) is Research Professor at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion in University of the Arts London, UK. Over the last two decades, her original thinking and progressive outlook has infused the field of fashion, textiles and sustainability with design thinking, and come to define it. She has written or edited six books available as many languages, including Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys (2008, 2014) which is in active use in commercial design studios and is the principal text in academic seminar rooms around the world. Kate is the most cited scholar in the field and the creator of directional fashion and sustainability projects including the Craft of Use and Fashion Ecologies. She is currently working on nature and design and fashion localism within academia, business and government. Her latest book about clothing and nature, Wild Dress (2019), is now out.

Gitika Goyal is a designer, entrepreneur & educator. She integrated slow fashion in her practice long before the term was coined. As a designer and entrepreneur, Gitika has created three sustainable brands. Pushing the boundaries of traditional craft techniques and aesthetics culminated in premium fashion & home décor brands that sold through exclusive concept stores in the west. Then, to make the concept of slow and sustainable fashion more accessible, she launched a domestic online brand of eclectic, easy and affordable fashion for women. With this brand, she introduced the concept of circularity in India.
Gitika has been a part of faculty at the most premium design schools in India – National Institute of Design, National Institute of Fashion Technology & Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology.

Lynda Grose is Chair of the Fashion Design program at California College of the Arts, San Francisco. She has worked on sustainability in fashion design for almost three decades with corporations, artisans, farmers, NGO’s, governmental and educational institutions. Grose co-founded ESPRIT’s ecollection (1992), the first ecologically responsible clothing line developed by a major corporation, which framed the supply chain impacts approach to fashion and sustainability now prevalent industry-wide. She was a major force in popularizing organic and Cleaner CottonTM through her work with The Sustainable Cotton Project.
      Grose co-authored Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change (Laurence King Publishers, London), available in five languages. She is a contributing author to Opening Up the Wardrobe (Novus Press), The Routledge Handbook on Sustainable Fashion (Routledge), Sustainable Textiles: Life Cycle and Environmental Impact (Woodhouse Publishing, London), and Sustainability in Fashion and Textiles: Values, Design, Production and Consumption (Greenleaf Publishing). Her articles have appeared in International Textiles Magazine, Ecotextiles, and Pesticides News, the Pesticide Action Networks journal.
      She is currently working on post-growth design concepts aiming to satisfy the wearer’s desire for something new in ‘ways other’ than shopping.

Hakan Karaosman PhD is a social scientist focusing on environmental and social justice in and across fashion supply chains. He is the Chief Scientist at FReSCH (Fashion’s Responsible Supply Chain Hub), an action research project awarded by the European Commission Research Executive Agency and hosted by University College Dublin. In addition to UCRF, Hakan is currently serving on the boards of IPSERA (International Purchasing and Supply Education and Research Association) and STOF (State of Fashion). Added to his published work featuring academic papers, book chapters, teaching cases and industrial reports, he has several collaborations about sustainability, climate change and transparency with organisations including the UN, NGOs, fashion companies and media platforms. He holds BSc. in Environmental Engineering, MSc. in Management in Engineering of Energy and Environment and double degree Ph.D. in Industrial Management.

Yvonne Ntiamoah is a PhD Researcher in the arear of “Contextualised Curriculum and Pedagogy in Fashion Design in Africa”. The aim of her research is to Contribute to a Decolonized Curriculum in Fashion Higher Education globally.
As the Chairperson of The Board of Fashion Ghana and previous Head Fashion Department at Radford University for seven years (the first Nationally Accredited Fashion Degree Programme in West Africa), she has led projects that have been honoured with prestigious awards such as the 2019 Gucci’s first Design Fellowship Award (the only country to receive, a double award for Womenswear and Children-wear), 2017 Glitz Fashion Award “Outstanding Contribution”. “Contribution to Fashion, 2015 Afromod Fashion Awards for “The Best Tertiary Fashion Department” 2014 Ghana Fashion Icons Award”.
Yvonne was the British Council “Social Impact Award” finalist in Ghana in 2017. In 2005 after winning the prestigious “Professional Ghanaian Award” for Designer of the year, she was contracted to take part in the UN “Fashion for Food program” (Catwalk the World).
Her quest to make a valid contribution to Fashion Academia and the Economy of Africa, has enabled students with tools to change their lives and the lives of the people in their communities, through the creation of their brands.

Hadeel Osman is an award winning creative director, mentor, stylist and designer. She is the founder and creative director of multidisciplinary creative studio DAVU Studio, country coordinator of Fashion Revolution Sudan, a co-founder of the Slow Fashion Movement Arabic team, and is behind the launch of #AfricaIsNotALandfill to tackle the possibilities of a circular, sustainable fashion ecosystem across Africa and the world. Hadeel is also on the brink of launching a social enterprise and collaborative fashion projects that look at innovative approaches to fashion design, keeping people, planet and artistry at the core of each function.

Timo Rissanen PhD is an educator, scholar, designer and artist. He is an associate professor of fashion and textiles at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Prior to UTS he was an associate professor of fashion design and sustainability at Parsons School of Design and he also served as an associate director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School. He was born in Finland and trained as a fashion designer at the UTS. Rissanen completed a practice-based PhD on zero waste fashion design at UTS in 2013. As an artist he has focused on nature, politics and love through installation, performance and cross-stitched poetry. Rissanen co-curated Fashioning Now with Alison Gwilt in 2009 and Yield with Holly McQuillan in 2011, and he has co-published two books on fashion and sustainability, Shaping Sustainable Fashion with Gwilt in 2011 and Zero Waste Fashion Design with McQuillan in 2016

Karishma Design, a social justice enterprise disrupting the fashion industry through ethical practices that aimed to empower and transform everyone from the earth to raw material suppliers, artisans and the wearers. Karishma Design has created opportunities for social economic empowerment of previously disadvantaged communities using fair trade practices in Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and now India by building trusting relationships with artisans and communities, one community at a time.
Strongly rooted in the spiritual practice of the interconnection of all life, Karishma is a proponent of the interbeingness of life, a buddhist philosophy of sacred interconnection. Rooted in this philosophy is the concept that all change starts within oneself. From this vantage point she has launched a campaign, called Miraculous Me, advocating for a paradigm shift from mindless consumption of fashion and beauty and the scarcity mindset that this thrives on, to conscious consumption through sacred reconnection to one’s authentic nature. Miraculous Me is conscious style activism, through the journey to self channeled by the daily creative expression of personal style.
In order to balance this equity building life’s mission, Karishma rounds off her work by working with secondary and tertiary students as a teacher of entrepreneurship and design. In this space, Karishma has published papers on culturally responsive pedagogies. Her current action research project is on
implementing indegnious wisdoms such as Matauranga Maori/ Ubuntu frameworks into mainstream education as a pathway to foster innate ethically focused future leaders.

Tone Skårdal Tobiasson is a journalist, author and editor of nicefashion.org. She is based in Oslo, Norway, and was for many years editor of a leading Norwegian fashion magazine, gaining valuable insights into the narrow thought-mode of the industry. Over a decade ago she switched gears and developed a platform for sharing knowledge surrounding environmental and ethical issues in fashion and textiles, and named it Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical Fashion. This became an internet site for both designers and consumers with funding from the Norwegian government. The platform has since moved to Facebook to be more interactive, as other similar initiatives emerged. She has co-authored several books, many on wool and crafts, and the latest a co-production on apparel care. She leads dissemination for research projects generated by the Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) at OsloMet and is also an expert correspondent for EcoTextile News. 

Mathilda Tham’s (PhD) work sits in a positive, feminist, creative and activist space between design, futures studies and sustainability. Her work is informed by metadesign and focuses on creating new legend for socio-material relations. Originally a fashion designer, today she draws on symbolic and performative qualities of fashion in broader remits, such as of building and home making for permaculture and active ageing. She is Professor in Design at Linnaeus University, Sweden, where she has been part of leading the development and implementation of visionary design programmes BA and MA Design + Change and BA Visual Communication + Change. Mathilda is a co-founder of Småland Living Lab, a regional living lab for futures of sustainability. Publications include Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion, co-edited with Kate Fletcher.

Amy Twigger Holroyd (PhD) is a designer, maker, researcher and writer. She is Associate Professor of Fashion and Sustainability at Nottingham Trent University, UK. Amy founded her experimental knitwear label, Keep & Share, in 2004, to explore ideas of slowness and craft in relation to fashion and sustainability. Her PhD, completed at Birmingham City University in 2013, formed the basis of her first book, Folk Fashion: Understanding Homemade Clothes, published in 2017. She has since co-edited two further books. The practical side of her doctoral research developed into Reknit Revolution, an ongoing initiative supporting knitters to rework the items in their wardrobes. Current projects include the collaborative leadership of two research networks, Stitching Together and Crafting the Commons, and the development of an initiative that explores fictional storyworlds in order to imagine, experience and analyse alternative fashion systems.